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Tamil Nadu: Two international passengers test positive for COVID-19 amid Omicron scare

05:28 PM Dec 03, 2021 | ANI

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], December 3 (ANI): A day after two cases of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant were detected in India, two international passengers, one each from the UK and Singapore tested positive for coronavirus in Tamil Nadu's capital city Chennai, informed State Health Minister Ma. Subramanian on Friday.

"A passenger from Singapore at the Tiruchirappalli International Airport was found COVID positive and got admitted to a private hospital; samples have been sent for genome sequencing to Chennai and Bengaluru," said Subramanian while addressing a press conference at Teynampet, Chennai on Friday.

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"Another passenger from the UK in Chennai was found COVID positive and is admitted to a special ward of the King Institute of Preventive Medicine, Chennai; samples have been sent for genome sequencing to Chennai and Bengaluru," added the Tamil Nadu Health Minister.

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Earlier on Thursday, Subramanian had said that staff at airports in Chennai, Madurai, and Coimbatore have started compulsory testing of passengers arriving from 11 'at risk' countries in view of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron.

Speaking to ANI on Thursday, Subramanian had said, "The airports in Chennai, Madurai, and Coimbatore have started compulsory testing of passengers arriving from 11 'at risk' countries where Omicron variant of coronavirus is spreading rapidly." Two cases of the new Omicron variant of Coronavirus have been detected in Karnataka, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday.

A new variant of COVID-19 was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 25. As per the WHO, the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9 this year.

On November 26, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as 'Omicron'. The WHO has classified Omicron as a 'variant of concern'.

Dozens of countries have imposed travel restrictions on the southern African nations since the mutation was discovered.

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